Marshalltown is resilient
After meeting with business and community leaders in Marshalltown today, I continue to be heartened by the resilience of Iowans. There are so many stories of goodness. Each is unique, and yet at the same time, just one of many where neighbors, businesses, community organizations and even our youth are stepping up and helping one another, even amid their own struggles. This is what makes Iowa so amazing and what will restore the Marshalltown community to greatness – our people.
Make no mistake though, we have a lot of hard work ahead. One of Marshalltown’s top employers, Lennox International, sustained damage, not only to its structures, but to the specialized equipment employees used to manufacture and test heating and cooling units at the facility. I met with Doug Young, president and COO of Lennox International, and he communicated the company’s commitment to the Marshalltown community and his plans to rebuild. Lennox wants to put its skilled employees, which the company highly values, back to work, support local businesses and help with community-wide recovery.
JBS is another significant Marshalltown employer that is recouping from its losses. Todd Carl, general manager of the Marshalltown plant, said the damage to its distribution facility meant the loss of millions of pounds of meat, but fortunately, Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig was able to help with disposal. The plant’s outlook for returning to 100-percent operations is good. In the meantime, JBS is helping employees and deploying their “JBS Strong” crews to help with clean up in the neighborhood where the plant is located.
I also met with the mayor of Marshalltown to talk about the damage to historic main street structures, businesses and homes. The Iowa Economic Development Authority will be working with the community to leverage Main Street Iowa and Community Development Block Grant programs to support the downtown rebuilding efforts so we can help restore quality of life for Marshalltown residents.
I am committed to doing everything we can to help these businesses and the Marshalltown community recover. Early today, I brought my cabinet together to identify available resources. We will continue to meet and reach out to support the success of the rebuilding already underway.
I have no doubt that the combination of our people’s character, business integrity and community strength will result in an even better Marshalltown down the road.